REXBURG, Idaho (KSTU) -- An Idaho judge has ruled to combine the jury trials of Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell.
Judge Steven Boyce ruled to join the cases as Chad Daybell appeared in court to oppose a motion to join the two trials Thursday morning.
Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood argued the trials should be combined as the Daybells participated in the same "series of acts."
The Daybells are both facing charges of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence in connection with the disappearance and deaths of Vallow Daybell's two children: Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
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East Idaho News reports Special Prosecutor Rob Wood initially asked for the cases to be combined for efficiency as he planned to use the same evidence and witnesses to prosecute both Chad and Lori Daybell. Wood argued keeping the cases separate meant duplicative work for two separate judges and two sets of court staff. And the cost for bringing witnesses for both cases would be higher, and separate trials might create inconsistencies for rulings on evidence which may lead to potential appeals.
Daybell's attorney John Prior argued combining the trials will increase the media coverage, making it difficult to find an unbiased jury. Lori Vallow’s attorney Mark Means was not part of the hearing, because he does not object to having the cases combined, East Idaho News reports.
Two bodies found on the Salem, Idaho property of Chad Daybell in June were officially identified as 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan. One body was concealed in a “particularly egregious” way, according to a Madison County, Idaho prosecutor. JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan had not been seen alive since September 2019.